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Classification Descriptors - Higher Education Workers

  • ALL | Level 1 | Level 2 | Level 3 | Level 4 | Level 5 | Level 6 | Level 7 | Level 8 | Level 9 | Level 10

Higher Education Worker Level 1

Training Level or Qualifications

Employees at the base of this level would not be required to have formal qualifications or work experience upon engagement. Employees engaged at the base of this level will be provided with structured on the job training in addition to up to 38 hours of induction to the higher education industry which shall provide information on the higher education institution, conditions of employment, training to be made available and consequent career path opportunities, physical layout of the institution/work areas, introduction to fellow workers and supervisors, work and documentation procedures, occupational health and safety, equal employment opportunity practices and extended basic literacy and numeracy skills training where required/necessary to enable career path progression.

Occupational Equivalent

Cleaner, Labourer, Trainee for Level 2 duties.

Level Of Supervision

Close supervision or, in the case of more experienced staff working alone, routine supervision.

Task Level

Straightforward manual duties, or elements of Level 2 duties under close supervision and structured on the job training. Some knowledge of materials, e.g. cleaning chemicals and hand tools, may be required. Established procedures exist.

Organisational Knowledge

May provide straightforward information to others on building or service locations.

Judgement, Independence And Problem Solving

Resolve problems where alternatives for the jobholder are limited and the required action is clear or can be readily referred to higher levels.

Typical Activities

Perform a range of industrial cleaning tasks, move furniture, assist trades personnel with manual duties.


Higher Education Worker Level 2

Training Level or Qualifications

Persons employed at Level 2 shall typically perform duties at a skill level which assumes and requires knowledge, training or experience relevant to the duties to be performed, or completion of year 12 without work experience or an equivalent combination of experience and training

Occupational Equivalent

Clerk, Security Patrol Officer.

Level Of Supervision

Routine supervision of straightforward tasks; close supervision of more complex tasks (see below).

Task Level

Perform a range of straightforward tasks where procedures are clearly established. May on occasion perform, more complex tasks.

Organisational Knowledge

Following training, may provide general information/advice and assistance to members of the public, students and other staff which is based on a broad knowledge of the employee's work area/responsibility, including knowledge of the functions carried out and the location and availability of particular personnel and services.

Judgement, Independence And Problem Solving

Solve relatively simple problems with reference to established techniques and practices. Will sometimes choose between a range of straightforward alternatives. An employee at this level will be expected to perform a combination of various routine tasks where the daily work routine will allow the latitude to rearrange some work sequences, provided the prearranged work priorities are achieved.

Typical Activities

Clerical positions at this level may include duties involving the inward and outward movement of mail, keeping, copying, maintaining and retrieving records, straightforward data entry and retrieval.

Security Officers may be involved in a range of patrol duties, including responding to alarms, following emergency procedures and preparing incident reports.


Higher Education Worker Level 3

Training Level or Qualifications

Persons employed at Level 3 shall typically perform duties at a skill level which assumes and requires knowledge or training in clerical/administrative, trades or technical functions equivalent to:

  • completion of a trades certificate; or
  • completion of year 12, with relevant work experience; or
  • equivalent relevant experience or combination of relevant experience and education/training

Persons advancing through this level may typically perform duties, which require further on the job training or knowledge and training equivalent to progress toward completion of an advanced certificate or associate diploma.

Occupational Equivalent

Tradesperson, technical assistant/technical trainee, clerical/ secretarial.

Level Of Supervision

In technical positions, routine supervision, moving to general direction with experience. In other positions, general direction. This is the first level where supervision of other staff may be required.

Task Level

Some complexity. Apply body of knowledge equivalent to trade certificate, including diagnostic skills and assessment of the best approach to a given task.

Organisational Knowledge

Perform tasks/assignments, which require knowledge of the work area processes and an understanding of how they interact with other related areas and processes.

Judgement, Independence And Problem Solving

Exercise judgement on work methods and task sequence within specified timelines and standard practices and procedures.

Typical Activities

In trades positions, apply the skills taught in a trade certificate including performance of a range of construction, maintenance and repair tasks, using precision hand and power tools and. equipment. In some cases this will involve familiarity with the work of other trades or require further training.

In technical assistant positions:

  • assist a technical officer in operating a laboratory, including ordering supplies;
  • assist in setting up routine experiments;
  • monitor experiments for report to a technical officer;
  • assist with the preparation of specimens;
  • assist with the feeding and care of animals;

Staff would be expected to perform a greater range and complexity of tasks as they progressed through the level and obtained further training.

In clerical positions, perform a range of clerical support tasks including:

  • standard use of a word processing package (including store and retrieve documents, key and lay out correspondence and reports, merge, move and copy, use of columns, tables and basic graphics) or an established spreadsheet or database application;
  • provide general clerical support to staff within a faculty, including word processing, setting up meetings, answering straightforward inquiries and directing others to the appropriate personnel;
  • process accounts for payment.

Higher Education Worker Level 4

Training Level or Qualification

Persons employed at Level 4 shall typically perform duties at a skill level which assumes and requires knowledge or training equivalent to:

  • completion of an associate diploma level qualification with relevant work related experience or a certificate level qualification with post-certificate relevant work experience;
  • completion of a post-trades certificate or advanced certificate and extensive relevant experience and on the job training; or
  • an equivalent combination of relevant experience and/or education/training

Occupational Equivalent

Technical officer or technician, clerical/secretarial above Level 3, advanced tradesperson.

Level Of Supervision

In technical positions, routine supervision to general direction depending upon experience and the complexity of the tasks. In other positions, general direction. May supervise or co-ordinate others to achieve objectives, including liaison with staff at higher levels. May undertake stand-alone work.

Task Level

May undertake limited creative, planning or design functions; apply skills to a varied range of different tasks.

Organisational Knowledge

Perform tasks/assignments which require proficiency in the work area's rules, regulations, processes and techniques, and how they interact with other related functions.

Judgement, Independence And Problem Solving

In trades positions, extensive diagnostic skills. In technical positions, apply theoretical knowledge and techniques to a range of procedures and tasks. In clerical/secretarial positions, provide factual advice which requires proficiency in the work area's rules and regulations, procedures requiring expertise in a specialist area or broad knowledge of a range of personnel and functions.

Typical Activities

In trades positions:

  • work on complex engineering or interconnected electrical circuits;
  • exercise high precision trades skills using various materials and/or specialised techniques.

In technical positions:

  • develop new equipment to criteria developed and specified by others;
  • under routine direction, assist in the conduct of major experiments and research programs and/or in setting up complex or unusual equipment for a range of experiments and demonstrations;
  • demonstrate the use of equipment and prepare reports of technical nature as directed.

In library technician positions:

  • undertake copy cataloguing;
  • use a range of bibliographic databases;
  • undertake acquisitions;
  • respond to reference inquiries.

In clerical/secretarial positions:

  • may undertake a full range of word processing functions, including mathematical formulae and symbols, manipulation of text and layout in desktop publishing software and use of a range of word processing packages if required;
  • be responsible for providing a full range of secretarial services in a faculty;
  • plan and set up spreadsheets or data base applications;
  • provide advice to students on enrolment procedures and requirements, administer enrolment and course progression records.

Higher Education Worker Level 5

Training Level Or Qualifications

Persons employed at Level 5 shall typically perform duties at a skill level which assumes and requires knowledge or training equivalent to:

  • completion of a degree without subsequent relevant work experience; or
  • completion of an associate diploma and at least 2 years subsequent relevant work experience; or
  • completion of a post-trades certificate or advanced certificate and extensive relevant experience as a technician; or
  • an equivalent combination of relevant experience and/or education/training

Occupational Equivalent

Graduate (i.e. degree) or professional, without subsequent work experience on entry (including inexperienced computer systems officer); administrator with responsibility for advice and determinations; experienced technical officer.

Level Of Supervision

In professional positions, routine supervision to general direction, depending on tasks involved and experience. In technical positions, general direction and may supervise other staff.

Task Level

Apply body of broad technical knowledge and experience at a more advanced level than 4, including the development of areas of specialist expertise. In professional positions, apply theoretical knowledge, at degree level, in a straightforward way. In administrative positions, provide interpretation, advice and decisions on rules and entitlements.

Organisational Knowledge

Perform tasks/assignments, which require proficiency in the work area's rules, regulations, processes and techniques and how they interact with other related functions.

Judgement, Independence And Problem Solving

In professional positions, solve problems through the standard application of theoretical principles and techniques at degree level. In technical positions, apply standard technical training and experience to solve problems. In administrative positions, may apply expertise in a particular set of rules or regulations to make decisions, or be responsible for coordinating a team to provide an administrative service.

Typical Activities

In technical positions:

  • develop new equipment to general specifications;
  • under general direction, assist in the conduct of major experiments and research programs and/or in setting up complex or unusual equipment for a range of experiments and demonstration; or
  • under broad direction, set up, monitor and demonstrate standard experiments and equipment use; or
  • prepare reports of a technical nature.

In library technician positions, perform at a higher level than Level 4, including assist will reader education programs and more complex bibliographic and acquisition services.

  • Operate a discrete unit within a library, which may involve significant supervision, or be the senior staff member in a outposted service.

In administrative positions, responsible for the explanation and administration of an administrative function, e.g. HECS advice, records, determinations and payments, a centralised enrolment function, the organisation and administration of exams at a small campus.

In professional positions and under professional supervision:

  • work as part of a research team in a support role;
  • provide a range of library services including bibliographic assistance, original cataloguing and reader education in library and reference services;
  • provide counselling services.

Higher Education Worker Level 6

Training Level Or Qualifications

Persons employed at Level 6 shall typically perform duties at a skill level which assumes and requires knowledge or training equivalent to:

  • a degree with subsequent relevant experience; or
  • extensive experience and specialist expertise or broad knowledge in technical or administrative fields; or
  • an equivalent combination of relevant experience and/or education/training

Occupational Equivalent

Graduate or Professional with subsequent relevant work experience (including a computer systems officer with some experience); line manager; experienced technical specialist and/or technical supervisor.

Level Of Supervision

In professional positions, general direction; in other positions, broad direction. May have extensive supervisory and line management responsibility for technical, clerical, administrative and other non-professional staff.

Task Level

Perform work assignments guided by policy, precedent, professional standards and managerial or technical expertise. Employees would have the latitude to develop or redefine procedure and interpret policy so long as other work areas are not affected. In technical and administrative areas, have a depth or breadth of expertise developed through extensive relevant experience and application.

Organisational Knowledge

Perform tasks/ assignments which require proficiency in the work area's existing rules, regulations, processes and techniques and how they interact with other related functions, and to adapt those procedures and techniques as required to achieve objectives without impacting on other areas.

Judgement, Independence And Problem Solving

Discretion to innovate within own function and take responsibility for outcomes; design, develop and test complex equipment, systems and procedures; undertake planning involving resources use and develop proposals for resource allocation; exercise high level diagnostic skills on sophisticated equipment or systems; analyse and report on data and experiments.

Typical Activities

In technical positions:

  • manage a teaching or research laboratory or a field station;
  • provide highly specialised technical services;
  • set up complex experiments;
  • design and construct complex or unusual equipment to general specifications;
  • assist honours and postgraduate students with their laboratory requirements;
  • install, repair, provide and demonstrate computer services in laboratories.

In administrative positions:

  • provide financial, policy and planning advice;
  • service a range of administrative and academic committees, including preparation of agendas, papers, minutes and correspondence;
  • monitor expenditure against budget in a school or small faculty.

In professional positions:

  • work as part of a research team;
  • provide a range of library services, including bibliographic assistance, original cataloguing and reader education in library and reference services;
  • provide counselling services;
  • undertake a range of computer programming tasks;
  • provide documentation and assistance to computer users;
  • analyse less complex user and system requirements.

Higher Education Worker Level 7

Training Level Or Qualifications

Persons employed at Level 7 shall typically perform duties at a skill level which assumes and requires knowledge or training equivalent to:

  • a degree with at least 4 years subsequent relevant experience; or
  • extensive experience and management expertise in technical or administrative fields; or
  • an equivalent combination of relevant experience and/or education/training

Occupational Equivalent

Senior librarian, technical manager, senior professional or scientific officer, senior administrator in a small less complex faculty.

Level Of Supervision

Broad direction. May manage other administrative, technical and/or professional staff.

Task Level

Independently relate existing policy to work assignments or rethink the way a specific body of knowledge is applied in order to solve problems. In professional or technical positions, may be a recognised authority in a specialised area.

Organisational Knowledge

Detailed knowledge of academic and administrative policies and the interrelationships between a range of policies and activities.

Judgement, Independence And Problem Solving

Independently relate existing policy to work assignments, rethink the way a specific body of knowledge is applied in order to solve problems, adapt procedures to fit policy prescriptions or use theoretical principles in modifying and adapting techniques. This may involve stand alone work or the supervision of others in order to achieve objectives. It may also involve the interpretation of policy which has an impact beyond the immediate work area.

Typical Activities

In a library, combine specialist expertise and responsibility for managing a library function; in student services, the training and supervision of other professional staff combined with policy development responsibilities which may include research and publication in technical manager positions, the management of teaching and research facilities for a department or school; in research positions, acknowledged expertise in a specialised area or a combination of technical management and specialist research. In administrative positions, provide less senior administrative support to relatively small and less complex faculties or equivalent.


Higher Education Worker Level 8

Training Level Or Qualifications

Persons employed at level 8 shall typically perform duties at a skill level which assumes and requires knowledge or training equivalent to:

  • postgraduate qualifications or progress towards postgraduate qualifications and extensive relevant experience; or
  • extensive experience and management expertise; or
  • an equivalent combination of relevant experience and/or education/training,

Occupational Equivalent

Researcher of national standing; manager; senior school or faculty administrator.

Level Of Supervision

Broad direction. May manage other administrative, technical and/or professional staff.

Task Level

Work at this level is likely to require the development of new ways of using a specific body of knowledge, which applies to work assignments, or may involve the integration of other specific bodies of knowledge.

Organisational Knowledge

The employee would be expected to make policy recommendations to others and to implement programs involving major change, which may impact on other areas of the institution's operations.

Judgement, Independence And Problem Solving

Responsible for program development and implementation. Provide strategic support and advice to schools or faculties requiring integration of a range of University policies and external requirements, and an ability to achieve objectives operating within complex organisation structures.

Typical Activities

Assist in the management of a large functional unit with a diverse or complex set of functions and significant resources; manage a function or development and implementation of a policy requiring a high degree of knowledge and sensitivity; manage a small and specialised unit where significant innovation, initiative and/or judgement are required; provide senior administrative support to schools and faculties of medium complexity, taking into account the size, budget, course structure, external activities and management practices within the faculty or equivalent unit.


Higher Education Worker Level 9

Training Level Or Qualifications

Persons employed at Level 9 shall typically perform duties at a skill level which assumes and requires knowledge or training equivalent to:

  • postgraduate qualifications and extensive relevant experience; or
  • extensive management experience and proven management expertise; or
  • an equivalent combination of relevant experience and/or education/training

Occupational Equivalent

Researcher of national or international standing; manager; senior school or faculty administrator.

Level Of Supervision

Broad direction. Will manage other administrative, technical and/or professional staff.

Task Level

Demonstrated capacity to conceptualise, develop and review major professional, management or administrative policies at the corporate level. Significant high level creative, planning and management functions. Responsibility for significant resources.

Organisational Knowledge

Conceptualise, develop and review major policies, objectives and strategies involving high level liaison with internal and external client areas. Responsible for programs involving major change which may impact on other areas of the institution's operations.

Judgement, Independence And Problem Solving

Responsible for program development and implementation. Provide strategic support and advice to schools or faculties requiring integration of a range of internal and external policies and demands, and an ability to achieve objectives operating within complex organisation structures.

Typical Activities

Assist in the management of a large functional unit with a diverse or complex set of functions and significant resources; manage a function or development and implementation of a policy requiring a high degree of knowledge and sensitivity and the integration of internal and external requirements; manage a small and specialised unit where significant innovation, initiative and/or judgement are required; provide senior administrative support to the more complex schools and faculties, taking into account the size,, budget, course structure, external activities and management practices within the faculty or equivalent unit.


Higher Education Worker Level 10

Training Level Or Qualifications

Persons employed at or above' this level shall typically perform duties at a skill level which assumes and requires knowledge or training equivalent to:

  • proven expertise in the management of significant human and material resources; in addition to, in some areas
  • postgraduate qualifications and extensive relevant experience.

Occupational Equivalent

Senior program, research or administrative manager.

Level Of Supervision

Broad direction. Will manage other administrative, technical and/or professional staff.

Task Level

Complex, significant and high level creative planning, program and managerial functions with clear accountability for program performance. Comprehensive knowledge of related programs. Generate and use a high level of theoretical and applied knowledge.

Organisational Knowledge

Bring a multi-perspective understanding to the development, carriage, marketing and implementation of new policies; devise new ways of adapting the organisation's strategies to new, including externally generated, demands.

Judgement, Independence And Problem Solving

Be fully responsible for the achievement of significant organisational objectives and programs.

Typical Activities

Manage a large functional unit with a diverse or complex set of functions and significant resources; manage a more complex function or unit where significant innovation, initiative and/or judgement are required; provide senior administrative support to the most complex schools and faculties in large institutions, involving complex course structures, significant staff and financial resources, outside activities and extensive devolution of administrative, policy and financial management responsibilities to this position.